Mystery is a tricky thing. Used correctly, it can give the viewer the impression that wonderful and perhaps valuable things are coming. But when the veil of abolition of disbelief is removed in a material way, the same mystery can quickly turn into not only skepticism but direct anger against what might have seemed to be an attempt to attract trusting spectators.
It's essentially the story of Magic Leap – at least the past few months.
And now, with the company's first real contact with the public through the LEAP conference in Los Angeles behind it, the mystery is gone. And so, much of the public's expectations surround them over $ 2 billion in investments devoted to the relentless start-up. It's both a good and a bad thing.
The Magic Magic Leap Sold
The award for Magic Leap One in August was lukewarm at best and brutally at worst. The small group of reviewers who gave pre-release access to the device released its collective stuffed frustration by being promised so much from Magic Leap for years to just show what some have claimed is just a marginal step up from Microsoft's HoloLens.
Instead of the revolutionary light field technology they promised, we have stacked waveguides like Magic Leap insist on calling "photonic lightfield chips". The in-depth and long-played game that was subtly framed as genuine gameplay, and then reclassified as concept film, Dr. Grordbort Invaders, absent from launch, with only one colorful logo floating in the system menu.
Ultimately, the highest Profile Reactions on all of this was as a strong divergence from the breathless accounts of well-known sports stars and high-level executives who, despite the fact that they did not reinforce reality experts, were charged as barometers of the potential impact of the product.
At the practical level, the current Magic Leap One is most a better version of something that was already on the market. And a majority of technical analysts have responded with a resounding: So what? The better question is: What now?
It was therefore no surprise to me when I went around the business conference last month and recognized some familiar technical journalistic faces, so these faces did not look very happy to be there. At that time I participated in similar misgivings.
Back in 2015, a Magic Leap execute in my office in New York and told me how the device would work by radiating signals in your eye (inducing visions of Star Trek s famous but fictional neurological addictive AR games) and that the device would work well in outdoor sunlight (it does not).
As we now know, at the practical level, the current Magic Leap One is most a better version of something that was already on the market. If Magic Leap's previous framing exists with the company in any form, it may occur in a future product. But at the moment, Magic Leap One is what we have, and a majority of technology analysts have responded with a resounding: So what?
I think the better question is: What now?
I'm not sure how many of my technical media have a Magic Leap One that they can live with day by day, but after living with me for a few months, I'm no longer so skeptical. Many damage fears directed against Magic Leap's version of AR (aka spatial computing) remind me of the course against high-end VR in recent years. Indeed, most of the strongest opinions have not lived with and used high-end immersive computing gear at home for any significant time.
Think of it in another way: Usually do not review smartphones, tablets or computers without giving us a chance to "live" with the devices for at least a couple of weeks to sweep all subtleties and use cases. But for some reason, perhaps because the in-depth calculation paradigm is so different, many very smart people seem to feel it is good to briefly try some of these immersive computers and then, in short order, write them as something interesting but not important  I could not disagree more.
There is more to say about it, but at the moment let's focus on Magic Leap itself.
As I see it, having used both HoloLens and Magic Leap One frequently in recent months, the current HoloLens is a laboratory-type beta test. Magic Leap One, on the other hand, is a bit unpleasant yet more useful and comfortable version "1.0" of what's later becoming much smaller, lighter, cheaper and faithful to it or not on almost every face.  To be clear, I do not say that Magic Leap will be "the" to put the usual version of AR smart glasses on everyone's face. But I have used it enough and demoded enough newcomers to make sure that this is the beginning of the next mobile computing paradigm. The only question now is how long it takes to get a smaller, lighter version of these. Considerations about processing power, batteries, waveguide technology and even thermodynamics would all seem to be relatively far from the current iteration of Magic Leap One.
What asks the question: If Magic Leap's devices can not be on millions of consumers' faces in the near future, what's it really for? And if it does not have a distinctive, usual usage case today or even a few months from now, are Magic Leap's days numbered?
Maybe not. This is why.
Today, the biggest problem with Magic Leap is the fact that Microsoft has already established a solid beachhead among corporate customers, AR sector that has the best chance that provides the kind of profit that can maintain advanced AR headsets like these. In addition to the hardware, Microsoft Azure has the infrastructure for a future AR cloud and a globally installed operating system and user base that people trust in a wide range of mission-critical applications (medical, municipal, financial, etc.).  It is said that the good news for Magic Leap is that Microsoft seems less focused on marketing its hardware – even when HoloLens 2.0 comes – and more on the software side of the equation. Historically, it would suit Microsoft's market orientation: hardware as a guideline for OEMs, while focusing on utilizing their software (and now clouds).
Of course, Magic Leap understands the importance of the AR cloud and software that will use it (Magic Versa talk), but it is also aware of how high a mountain is to climb. So at present, it can lead to hardware and support good software be the second best strategy. The company's latest hackathon event in collaboration with AT & T gave results that were interesting but generally uninspired. But it was just an event, in a city. The real test will come in the next few weeks, as Magic Leap is waiting to see who takes the company up to $ 500,000, as well as technical and marketing support for the best ideas presented for its independent creation program.  The only mystery left is what Magic Leap has planned for its often mentioned consumer rollout with AT & T. Spending a new day at the Nordic Smart Glass store (a much lower level of non-depressing AR) clearly showed how hard it comes to be for any new player (outside of Apple as) to get people embrace portable AR technology. Reading the virtual teasures sounds like Magic Leap is planning a consumer launch, early, sometime at the end of next year. If it's even close enough, the device will probably be about as big and sealed to a hip computer as Magic Leap One.
Do I think the public is ready to wear even a vigorously shaded version of Magic Leap One? No. In fact, I think it will take some cool lift to get the public to assume that basically is a reporting unit from an equivalent undeclared start in the Northern Focals. Even Snap, despite its nearly 200 million installed user base, has had difficulty in its efforts to make people adopt broad-based relatively simple camera shots. Selling the public at wearables is difficult – that's why so many people continue to bring up the Apple company that managed to come to the smartwatch market late and still became the portable tech frontrunner – as the likely AR smartglasses winner.
And they are not wrong. People trust Apple (for now). But they rely not only on Apple's technology; They trust their brand and style pedigree. It is big. That's why you rarely see people wearing Spectacles publicly. Snap has not yet deserved the style pedigrees with the public it needs (although the latest design update was an important step towards that goal). Can Magic Leap compete in that room? In short, no. Because of the technology, the kind of truly immersive AR like Magic Leap is still not technically ready for a pair of regular glasses (that's why Apple is likely to start with a reporting unit similar to North's Focals, but much more polished and offering more software interactions.)
Even behind the power of AT & T, the forthcoming release of a MagicTV One app for a massive warfare, I do not think Magic Leap will penetrate Marketing as a regular consumer entertainment device Anytime soon (read: 36-48 months).
Magic Leap is the best venture to roll out more corporate applications (manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, defense, vehicle, employee and remote co-operation) than in the near future. it is today. So far, it is the only space where AR has really been caught, with hundreds of millions of dollars still flowing into the sector and some forecasts that bind the market value of AR space to over $ 60 billion in 2023.
A clearer signal About this AR business development occurred during this year's Augmented World Expo, where there were very few games at hand, but a host of corporate devices and software, and hardly any mention of Magic Leap among participants. And it is worth noting that Tim Cook also focused on business purpose of gaming when he showed up Apple's ARKit-powered version of AR recently on prime time tv.
However, when I have asked Magic Leap insiders about the company's business plans, in the midst of Tónandi's triplamp and turtles in Create, the only direct comments are vague tips on more business-oriented apps in 2019 and beyond.
Still, some early signs that the business space can work for Magic Leap is OnShape and BrainLab. I recently had a chance to use OnShape to collaborate with three other Magic Leap One users because we all manipulated a 3D model of a machine component, annotate it with virtual stickies, resize from handheld to room size, and quit control over it to eachother. It's a powerful app that I can see used directly to engineering and design stores around the world.
Similarly, we have seen BrainLab's Magic Leap app shown as an aid to medical staff, a tool that will probably be embraced by some doctors who are already experimenting with HoloLens. And then, last week, Twilio's remote collaboration app Avatar Chat was left on the Magic Leap One.
Still, none of the current business-friendly Magic Leap One programs was equally amazing and polished on Dr. Grabber's Invaders or Create app. It is the gap that Magic Leap will need to work hard to help developers cross the company's immersive computing as life change as a game in this new environment. It's possible, but we're just not there yet.
Meanwhile, what Magic Leap does is something every wizard knows well: misdirection. Misdirection is the heart and soul of magic, and if we look at the story of Magic Leap from 100 meters above it will soon become apparent that all robots, orcs and astronauts are really just gateway drugs to bend public minds (and most importantly all business executives) to accept this new computer paradigm.
Do not expect Magic Leap to tell you right away. A magician never reveals his secrets. But if you think that Magic Leap's investors have plowed over $ 2 billion to Rony Abovitz's start, he can do a lot of games, so you do not pay close attention.
Dr. Grordbort Invaders are really good, but you need a lot of space (believe me, I tested it in a number of interior environments that probably fit the specified sizes), and just the right conditions to play, including a long-term disposition. Similarly, Angry Birds on Magic Leap is amazing, but not so amazing that you always would choose to scan your room and set the game instead of just starting the game on your smartphone .
Games are profitable, but the real purpose of Magic Leap is not about games.
As it says, says the greatest trick the devil ever drew, convinced the world that he was not
"Imagine a C-3PO that has the correct C-3PO intelligence. He speaks 10,000 languages in Bocce and Mandarin and He is there with you all day and explains the world for you, "Abovitz said in 2016. "It seems like a much friendlier way of introducing things like AI to your life because he is a good character as you know he will not do bad things, he will not take your personal information, he is your friend."
Such a scenario sounds compelling, especially when you get the chance to interact with MI CA, another virtual assistant, like I did. But after spending a lot of time at the Magic Leap One, the thought of a whole day in my home seems to interact with MICA as if it were a little claustrophobic (or even a slightly smaller version of it). (Not to mention the fact that my Magic Leap gets a bit too hot to wear comfortably after about an hour of use.)
But the idea of having its own virtual C-3PO or MICA on a factory floor, in a training environment, in a high data flow business environment or within a design or engineering company, used in short, one for two hour sessions, seems immediately more viable and practical.
We got the first reasons for Magic Leap's true wine-related interests when the news broke that the company competed with Microsoft's HoloLens for a major military contract (already a $ 1.4 billion market, according to some reports). No whimsical games or ayahuasca-style candles show there, only high level, mortal serious defense business. That's where the real money is on for a device like Magic Leap One.
Seen through a lens without pixie dust it is obvious that Magic Leap's most important mission is to keep eye candy coming and gradually win over company customers who begin to gain access to their inner children's wonders during Magic Leap demos and end through to sign the Magic Leap Device contract for some of the most casual but important business-level work that will be enhanced by AR.
Sales of a company AR solution with astronauts, furries and psychedelic rock music? It's just that kind of oorthodox way of challenging the established actors who would make the late Steve Jobs laugh over their tattered and worn hippie jeans and angry his bare feet in pleasure … when he calculates the winning potential of such a mastery ruse.
It's a nice trick if Magic Leap can pull it out.
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